What’s up, readers? Hopefully, not your blood pressure, but did you know how common that is?
I was pretty floored by the stats: one out of every three people in the US has high blood pressure, and another 59 million people in this country have what’s called “prehypertension,” which is the stage before developing full-blown high blood pressure.
Knowing all that, it’s obvious we’ve got to take better care of ourselves to keep our blood pressure down, although genetics, medications and other factors not entirely in our control can impact those magic numbers. Luckily, some recent research has shown there’s another possible natural way to keep those numbers down where they should be.
As reported by Knowridge, a group of researchers at King’s College London showed that eating two cups full of blueberries daily for one month improved blood vessel function and lowered systolic blood pressure in a group of healthy test volunteers (https://knowridge.com/2019/11/the-blue-in-blueberries-may-help-control-high-blood-pressure/). A group of 40 test subjects were given either a control drink with no blueberries or a drink containing 200 grams of blueberries. The chemicals in the test subjects’ urine and blood were monitored, as well as the dilation of their brachial artery–considered a marker of heart disease risk–and their blood pressure.
The researchers found that the impact on blood vessel function started just two hours after a person consumed the blueberry drink, and this effect was sustained for a month even after the subjects went on an overnight fast. Throughout the study, the average blood pressure of each person was lowered by 5mmHg, which is surprisingly similar to the results of a study using medications to lower blood pressure.
In contrast, the control drink, which was devoid of blueberries, failed to have the same effect. Some subjects were also given drinks with a fiber or vitamin content similar to that found in blueberries, but those didn’t have the same impact as the blueberry drink.
According to the team conducting the study, if the changes seen in the study after the subjects ate blueberries could be kept up for their entire life, it could lower their risk of developing high blood pressure by as much as 20 percent.
Of course, blueberries alone are not enough to keep your blood pressure in the safe range, but as a new tool to add to your health arsenal, they’re certainly worth a closer look!